On Friday, Sept. 7, music suffered a tragic loss with the untimely death of multiplatinum recording artist Mac Miller. Born Malcolm James McCormick, the Los Angeles-by-way-of-Pittsburgh native died in the bedroom of his San Fernando Valley home from an apparent overdose. The 26-year-old hitmaker was pronounced dead on the scene by law enforcement and emergency responders.
TMZ broke the heartbreaking news, and word quickly spread worldwide through social media. It was publicly reported that Mac Miller had been battling substance abuse issues for years, previously confessing he relied on self-medication to cope with fame. Hours before his death, Mac was interacting with fans via Instagram, watching an NFL game with friends and tweeting about his eagerness to start touring what would unexpectedly be his last album, Swimming.
Discovered at 17 years old in Pittsburgh following the underground success of his breakout mixtape K.I.D.S., recording artist/producer/reality television star Mac Miller (aka Larry Fisherman) signed with Rostrum Records and released his debut album, Blue Slide Park, in 2011. Throughout his eight-year career and five-album catalog, he will be best known for hit songs “Weekend,” “My Favorite Part” and his latest single, “Hurt Feelings.”
Miller’s fifth and final album, Swimming, was released
in August via his own imprint, REMember, and Warner Bros. Records, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Along with “Hurt Feelings,” the new album featured guest appearances from Flying Lotus, J. Cole and Thundercat. Miller, J.I.D. and Thundercat were scheduled to support the new album with a 26-date tour starting in October.
Devastated, hip-hop mourns the loss, with superstars past, present and future all paying their respects and remembering the positive experiences. Referring to Miller as a friend, inspiration and mentor, fellow musicians and L.A. residents including G-Eazy, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande paid tribute.
Logic remembered time shared with the late recording artist and paid homage to Miller’s breakout project in a tweet: “Man I Love You! You were a huge inspiration on my come up. Thank you for the countless hours of fun listening to your music with my homies! This has me so fucked up! You Will be missed and always remembered #KIDS”
“I’ve been praying for Mac,” tweets Real 92.3’s Big Boy. “You wanna see good people make it out of whatever darkness they’re in. It hurts my heart to see this good dude, gone. Just saw him and he made sure he came over to me to say 'Hello.' I’ll remember Mac Miller just like this pic. Rest in Paradise, Fam.”
Both Rostrum Records and Warner Bros. Records chairmen released official statements on the passing. Having known Miller since he was a teenager, Rostrum founder Benjy Grinberg honored his former artist’s memory with a statement:
“Mac was music. It dripped out of his pores. He was the most talented person I’ve ever met. But even more importantly, he was a wonderful person. Through all the success, he remained the caring, earnest, funny, deep, complex and loving person we all knew from the beginning. This is a terrible tragedy. I feel honored to have known him and I will miss him dearly. The gifts he shared with the world will live forever.”
Warner Bros. COO Tom Corson wrote: “All of us at Warner Bros. Records are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news of Mac Miller’s untimely passing. Mac was a hugely gifted and inspiring artist, with a pioneering spirit and a sense of humor that touched everyone he met. Mac’s death is a devastating loss and cuts short a life and a talent of huge potential, where the possibilities felt limitless. We join all of his fans across the globe in extending our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”
Mac Miller’s survivors include his father, Mark McCormick, his mother; Karen Meyers, his brother; Miller McCormick, and many beloved fans.
Confirming his passing, Miller’s family issued an official statement requesting privacy as they deal with the loss. “He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans. Thank you for your prayers. Please respect our privacy. There are no further details as to the cause of his death at this time.”
We at L.A. Weekly would like to send our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mac Miller. He will be sorely missed.